Therapy dogs — even stuffed animal dogs — can do wonders for hospitalized children.
Pediatric patients in the playroom were instantly cheered this week when UC Davis veterinary medicine students visited, bringing stuffed dogs to patients and providing quick tips on how to care for them.
The visit is an annual playroom event, hosted by the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department and UC Davis Veterinary Medicine. The visit is based on the Josh and Friends Project, which helps transform anxious hospital stays for children into friendship-filled adventures to wellness.
Vet med students fundraise during the year to raise money to purchase stuffed dogs for Children's Hospital patients.
"Our students have a passion for bringing healing to the lives of individuals, not just the four-legged kind, in our community. With this in mind, the goal of Josh Day is simple. We strive to bring hope and encouragement to the children and families of our community experiencing a medical difficulty," said Diana Donckels, UC Davis veterinary club president.
Pediatric patient Hayden gets to meet Josh the dog.